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Title X

America’s longstanding Title X Family Planning Program was enacted in 1970 with the goal of making critical reproductive health services more readily available to Americans, particularly low-income people. Almost 50 years after its conception, Title X is critically important as it remains the only federal program dedicated to family planning services and serves over 4 million low-income, uninsured patients who otherwise would not have access to care. Title X-funded clinics offer physical exams, prescriptions, birth control access, referrals and educational and counseling services.

Title X has been under attack since Trump took office by anti-abortion appointees set on changing the very nature of the program. In 2018, HHS for months delayed the release of the program’s grant guidelines; when they were finally released, the Trump administration undercut the mission of Title X by promoting natural family planning methods such as the rhythm method over hormonal birth control methods, pushing abstinence education on teenagers and reshaping the program's provider network to undercut efficient and well-established providers such as Planned Parenthood. The 2018 guidelines prompted much criticism for failing to even mention birth control or to require Title X grant recipients to provide their patients with an array of birth control methods, as was precedent. The 2019 Title X guidelines reintroduced mention of birth control methods but doubled down on the importance of abstinence, “sexual risk avoidance,” “fertility awareness-based methods of family planning” and “fostering interaction with community and faith-based organizations.” Trump's HHS also made it easier for anti-abortion, anti-contraception organizations to receive Title X money; in 2019, one such organization called Obria successfully received a large grant. In its FY19 grant announcement, HHS also cut funds for Planned Parenthood centers in five states — leaving state health departments as the sole family planning providers in their respective states.